Volunteer Firefighters/EMS May Be Eligible for $100 Income Tax Credit

Dallas – Fire, rescue and EMS volunteers can apply for a state income tax credit of up to $100, according to state Senator Lisa Baker, chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

The Volunteer Responder Retention and Recruitment Tax Credit is based on service in 2008, and eligibility is determined according to a points system established by the state. Volunteers can accumulate points based on their response rates, obtaining certifications, attending training courses and organizational meetings, sleep-in and standby times, holding elected and/or appointed positions, lifetime membership, military leave, and other related administrative and support activities.

Volunteers must have earned a total of 50 points between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2008 to be eligible for the state income tax credit. Responders must have their primary volunteer company’s president or chief certify the points by signing the PA-40 Schedule OC-V tax form provided by the PA Department of Revenue.

The deadline to file state personal income tax returns for tax year 2008 is April 15, 2009. The PA-40 Schedule OC-V tax form is available on the state Department of Revenue’s website at www.revenue.state.pa.us. (Click on “Forms and Publications” on the left, then “2008,” and scroll down to PA-40 Schedule OC-V.)

Volunteer fire and rescue personnel with questions about the points system can call the State Fire Commissioner’s Office at 1-800-670-3473 or send an email to ra-fire@state.pa.us . Volunteer ambulance personnel who have questions about the points system should call the state Department of Health, Bureau of Medical Services, at (717) 787-8740 or visit www.health.state.pa.us/ems.

“In communities across Pennsylvania, dedicated men and women give countless hours of their time, talent and energy to keep our communities and our neighbors safe,” Baker said. “Without volunteers, the added taxpayer cost exceeds $6 billion annually. Without sufficient protective coverage, we risk untold personal loss and tragedy.”

She added that recruiting and retaining volunteers, and preserving the viability of small fire and ambulance units in rural areas, are major concerns that will continue to be addressed this year.

Contact: Jennifer Wilson
jwilson@pasen.gov
(570) 675-3931